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Oral history interview with Helen Shonberg

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 2006.70.38 | RG Number: RG-50.583.0038

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    Oral history interview with Helen Shonberg


    Interview Summary
    Helen Shonberg (née Hoffman), born October 4, 1929 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), discusses her background; her schooling; facing restrictions after the Nazi takeover; all of her family gradually being sent to Theresienstadt; accommodations and daily life in Theresienstadt; being sent to Auschwitz in 1943 after the Red Cross left and Theresienstadt was liquidated; being sent to a family camp in Birkenau; how she and her mother were almost sent to the gas chambers; being transported to Kratzau, a women’s labor camp with an ammunitions factory in Czechoslovakia in July 1944; doing washing and cleaning but no hard labor at Kratzau; being taken on a death march; seeing bombs falling; after 12 days arriving at a train station where they were put on cattle cars; arriving at Bergen-Belsen; working as a messenger until the SS disappeared; her mother being sick when British troops liberated the camp; her mother being taken to a hospital; going to see her mother after a few days after going to an orphanage where she gained employment as a translator; going back to Prague during August 1945; leaving Czechoslovakia after the 1948 communist takeover and eventually making her way to the United States with her mother; and moving to Australia in 1951 to be with her uncle and his wife.
    Helen Shonberg
    interview:  1989 March 22
    Credit Line
    Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

    Physical Details

    1 sound cassette.

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Permission must be obtained from the University of Sydney, Archive of Australian Judaica for any type of use other than research.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Shonberg, Helen, 1929-

    Administrative Notes

    The Australian Institute of Holocaust Studies conducted the interview with Helen Shonberg for the Twelfth Hour Project. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum received a copy of the interview in April 2006 from the State Library of New South Wales where the collection is housed.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 09:03:11
    This page:

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